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From the Transantarctic Basin to the Ferrar Large Igneous Province: New palynostratigraphic age constraints for Triassic-Jurassic sedimentation and magmatism in East Antarctica
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2186-4970
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2014 (English)In: Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, ISSN 0034-6667, E-ISSN 1879-0615, Vol. 207, 18-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present new palynological data from the Transantarctic Mountains that clarify the timing of sedimentary and magmatic processes in the transition from continental deposition of the Beacon Supergroup to emplacement of the Ferrar Large Igneous Province. Samples were collected from twenty-three Triassic and Jurassic sections in the southern area of north Victoria Land (NVL), East Antarctica. Recovered palynomorph assemblages are correlated with the widely used, although informal palynostratigraphic framework established for eastern Australia by Price. The associated Late Triassic–earliest Jurassic zone, APT5, is modified here with a proposed new subdivision: Lower APT5 (“APT5L”; middle–late Norian), Middle APT5 (“APT5M”; Rhaetian), and Upper APT5 (“APT5U”;Hettangian–earliest Sinemurian). We further propose a modification unifying the relevant formal eastern Australian and New Zealand palynostratigraphic zones, with a new Polycingulatisporites crenulatus Association Zone (new zonal status) that includes the P. crenulatus Association Subzone (new subzone; equivalent toAPT5L) and the following Foveosporites moretonensis Association Subzone (new subzonal status; equivalent to APT5M). Our palynostratigraphic dating of the NVL assemblages demonstrates that the onset of sedimentation was diachronous in this part of the Transantarctic Basin, ranging from at least the Rhaetian to, in places, early Sinemurian. By lack of evidence for rocks containing APT5U assemblages and by analogy with the few coeval sections in Australia, we infer that the Hettangian interval in NVL is probably consumed by unconformity. Depositionof ashes from distal silicic volcanism commenced in the early Sinemurian and reached a peak phase beginning in middle Pliensbachian (ca 187Ma), coinciding with the first major magmatic interval of the silicic Chon Aike Province in Patagonia and West Antarctica. Two major episodes of phreatomagmatic activity, driven by shallow-level sill intrusion into sandstone aquifers, occurred during the middle Pliensbachian and during the late Pliensbachian–early Toarcian. The latter episode was closely followed by the first pillow extrusion and local lava effusion. Contrary to some previous studies, we further conclude that all available palynological evidence is compatible with a short-lived emplacement of the plateau-forming Kirkpatrick Basalt at around 180 Ma during the early Toarcian.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 207, 18-37 p.
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Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-976OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-976DiVA: diva2:769650
Available from: 2014-12-08 Created: 2014-12-08 Last updated: 2014-12-08Bibliographically approved

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